Behold the charcuterie board, the perfect snacking solution for parties of all kinds! From black tie events to family reunion BBQs and everything in between, the charcuterie board pleases all palates.
Simultaneously humble and elegant, there’s a beautiful simplicity and versatility of the charcuterie boards. It features all the classics: meat, cheese, crackers, fruits, olives, nuts, and, of course, plenty of different dips and spreads. We might be a little biased, but we don’t think any charcuterie board is complete without some of our spicy ‘n’ sweetpepper jelly dip, but what else goes into making a good charcuterie board great?
We asked some of our favorite culinary and event-hosting personalities for their tips on assembling the perfect charcuterie board. Here’s what they had to say...
Cater to Different Tastes
Whether you’re hosting a formal party or a casual backyard get-together, the most important thing is always the same: your guests. When putting together a charcuterie board, remember to take into account the different tastes, preferences, and dietary needs of the people you’ll be serving.
“Make sure there is a balance of meat, cheese, and then vegan options,” says Nikki Webster from Brit on the Move. “Lots of people don't consume meat or dairy. If you add in fruit, nuts, and veggies, bases are covered.”
Find the Right Balance
Piggybacking off the idea of catering to your guests’ tastes, let’s talk about variety and balance. These things are important, not just in terms of the food itself, but even your charcuterie board’s appearance.
“The perfect charcuterie board has a balance of flavor, color, and texture,” explains Marie Sarantakis of Sarantakis Law Group. “For taste, you want to ensure that you have sweet and savory taste profiles, but you can't forget to add visual interest. A good way to make your board pop is to add colorful fruit to the classic array of crackers, meat, and cheese.”
Once you have a nice selection of tastes, textures, and colors, it’s time to start laying them out. Putting some thought into your presentation makes all the difference. “First, take note of the structure,” suggests Brian Andrada, Food and Beverage Editor at The Golden Start.
“Start with your little bowls of dips and spreads. Place them on the board with ample spaces between. Then, add your meats and cheeses. Position the cheeses far apart from each other to attain balance. You can then place your crackers. Put only 2 or 3 in the spaces. Don’t worry about them touching the other items because they’re meant to be enjoyed altogether. Lastly, add the fruits and veggies to add some color to the board."
Think Outside the Box
When all is said and done, there really is no one single “perfect” charcuterie board, so don’t be afraid to try different things. For example, if you’re hosting an event where kids are present, you might not think charcuterie is something they’d be interested in, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put something together they’ll enjoy.
"Make charcuterie boards for adults and kids,” says Victoria Cornell from Motherhood Life Balance. “You can add fun kids’ snacks like Goldfish crackers, gummies, cheese strings, and fruit. The adult and kid boards will both look so great and everyone is sure to find something they love."
Spice Up Your Charcuterie with Pepper Jelly
Everybody loves a good charcuterie board. Whether you're hungry for something sweet, savory, or spicy, there’s always at least one option available to rock your tastebuds. Even better, you might even find something that hits all three of those flavor cravings at once. Something like Pepper Jelly.
Nothing goes better with cheese and crackers like the bold taste sensations of Pepper Jelly. Try one of our many delicious varieties today!